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Auto insurance / Bad Credit means high auto insurance rates.

1 NJ, United States Review updated:

I'm not sure what other states are currently practicing this robbery technique, but if you have bad credit in NJ, your car insurace could be sky high!
Can anyone tell me what a credit score has to do with my FLAWLESS DRIVING RECORD?? 20 years ago I was a high risk because I was young, a male, inexperienced, and thats just the way it was.. Now, if my credit score is'nt a 720, I'm getting bent over for car insurance??
If I had perfect credit, does this mean the insurance company will provide me a loan to purchase a home or a car? Does this mean i have NO DEDUCTABLE? Will they hook me up with a platinum visa? I think not.. Everyone needs to get together on this one and push whoever it is that can do something about it.
FU New Jersey! (and any other states doing this)
Love, SekTor

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  • Ji
      Apr 27, 2009

    Unfortuantely for consumers with not-so-good credit, rates are usually, if not always, increased. Here's the reasoning (if this'll help):
    Purchasing insurance (no matter what kind it may be, either life, auto, home, health, etc.) is not unlike renting an apartment or buying a home in that you "pay for services rendered" in advance (same with cable, too) and, generally speaking, ANY service for which you sign a contract (cable, phone, utilities, insurance, auto loan, home loan, even credit cards, etc.) can - and probably WILL - pull a credit report on you at one point or another. You are, for all intents and purposes, being granted "credit" under these various contracts. NOTE: even employers pull credit reports, although "credit reports for employment" do NOT include [by law] any account numbers.
    If your credit report reflects late payments (in excess of 30 days or more) it is a retty fair assumption that your auto insurance (or interest rates on credit cards, etc., etc., etc.) will increase - or at least they probably will WHEN the insurance company finally gets around to pulling your report. I know, it doesn't seem fair (when you're down, you can never catch a break), but remember: LIFE and FAIR are both four-letter words. (so is LOVE)
    Keep in mind that the information any of the three major credit repositorys or credit bureaus have "in your name" (on you) does not meant that
    (1) they're always perfect and/or correct, and
    (2) that this credit file is actually YOURS, insofar as the report is not a *possession* of yours; it just so happens to be a file ABOUT you that is actually OWNED by the credit bureau - either Experian, Equifax, or Trans-Union.
    The best and most prudent thing to do is go to www.AnnualCreditReport.com each year and pull your credit reports to ensure that they are as correct and up-to-date as possible. HINT: pull, for example, Experian during the 1st quarter of the year, Equifax during the 2nd quarter, and Trans-Union during the 3rd quarter; in that way you can stay on top of it and won't be overwhelmed with trying to respond to any and all "problems" (if there are any) ALL AT ONCE TO ALL THREE BUREUAU's. Also remember that you are entitled to a 100-word statement on your credit report for any out-of-the-ordinary circumstances that might arrise in life.
    The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) that was originally enacted in 1972 is a little outdated in many regards and, without a doubt, should be UPDATED. I wish that the US Congress would ask me to testify so that I could help them straighten the mess out, but then ... I'm sure a LOT of people would like to do the same.
    Good luck.

    0 Votes
  •   Apr 29, 2009

    Ok- well I understand how the credit thingy works, but car insurance is NOT a contract, just as HEALTH INSURANCE is NOT a contract. Hell, health insurance isnt even mandated (see a pattern?) Why are we not nailed on our health insurance? Even if our employer pays for it! If our credit really mattered and we were charged more because of it, do you really think our employers would pay for it? Hell no- that expense would be passed onto us! It is mandatory by the state in which you are licensed that drivers "Purchase" insurance. If you finance your vehicle and its not paid for "yet"- you must possess FULL COVERAGE.

    You are not renting it. Some pay it off during the policy year, but i pay it one shot when it is due. Im not taking out a home equity line or student loan to drive. There are a handful of Ins companies out there that do NOT check credit and as a matter of fact, have never checked credit until just recently. It just so happens i am insured by one of those companies that dont care about your credit (thank god!) and I get money back t the end of the year because of my good driving . I own 4 vehicles - all are paid for and I own them outright. 2 of these vehicles are collector cars and are insured through a classic car ins carrier whom also does not care about your credit.
    When I got my license 22 years ago, I was 16. I totally understand that I was a "High Risk" driver and i was paying more because of it. Then I moved to NJ and turned 21- I was still a high risk because in NJ - Males are higher risk drivers (so claims State Farm - even though a good portion of the women who put on their makeup @ 85 during the morning commute are not- go figure that one out). I turn 25 and got my FIRST & ONLY speeding ticket. I am charged a surcharge by NJ motor vehicles and my ins co for 3 years. I am now 37 soon to be 38. I have NEVER had an accident, never had a ticket in over 12 years, own a house, paid off 2 financed vehicles with no late payments. My credit score was over 732. Now if I want to switch insurance companies (which i wont), I will be charged more because I had a late credit card payment 1 year ago to pay off the $200/week gasoline bill that was building because i had to go to work.

    If you ask me, It sounds like another legalized scam to suck the extra money out of us when times are tough.
    I have a BMW & a chevy pickup - I pay $850/year for insurance. If i call to "save 15%" as that one company claims, my quote is well over $1700 for the same coverage. So technically, thats NOT the money i can be saving, but the $$ they can be gaining - even though my driving record is clean as a whistle.

    I dont know what the laws in other states may be, but in NJ, we are rewarded with a"slight" discount if we waive our right to sue someone, but MUST have PIP (Personal Injury Protection) on our policy.
    So - if I don't waive my right to sue, and indeed sue the pants off of someone, does this improve my credit score, and my annual premium?? Does being a "good" driver improve my credit score? Does paying my insurance on time improve my credit score? No? Then the entire credit system is indeed a scam, and every insurance company/ agent/broker using these practices should be locked up!!!

    In addition, if you are getting BENT OVER because of a bad credit score, the accidents and tickets should not impact your annual premium. Oh wait- I forgot - They do! Oh well..

    0 Votes
  • Ti
      Jul 31, 2009

    I agree that we are getting bent over when it comes to auto insurance. I lost my job a couple years back due to a very bad accident at work that nearly tore my spine in half resulting in my inability to work. As a result of loosing my job, My family lost our house three cars and bankruptcy ensued. Now, the auto insurance company is raking me over the coals. They tell me that I am a high risk of filing claims to "recoup" money that I do not earn (this is what I was actually told). I pay my total premiums up front and carry no ballances so there is no contract to pay monthly but yet I pay nearly $500.00 more per year now in premiums. Don't throw those words "life is not fair" out everytime something in life pops up. There is absolutly no reason at all that insurance companies should be allowed to penalize people for bad credit. If someone files claims, get them, or don't insure them. The insurance company is nothing but a big "RACKET" and it is full of insensitive money mongers. Why does this government of ours allow this to happen to us...I'll tell you why...the insurance lobbyests are in bed with the entire governmental system getting there kick backs at our expense.
    P.S...I just sold my new house and when I informed my insurance agent of this, he stated that my auto insurance policy premiums would now go UP at least $200.00 for a six month policy and that was due to my bad credit!!! I am about to drive my vehicles without insurance pretty soon if this keeps up.

    -1 Votes
  • Jb
      Jan 27, 2010

    First off car insurance IS a contract. You sign the application. and secondly, credit has everything to do with auto insurance. Studies show that people with lower credit (usually more desperate people) tend to make more claims, and more fraudulent claims.

    +1 Votes
  • Cp
      Feb 23, 2010

    Well then raise THEIR rates!!! Sorry, no dice on that one JB7. I've got the same problem and they do it in every state. I drive a 95 Mazda Millenia, the most non-glamorous car one could imagine. It's also paid for. The whole idea being to lower my expenses to pay off the student loan for the useless degree that I got. I'm being told I have to pay 1200 bucks a year for car insurance????!!! Nice. When did it go from 'we the people' to 'we the corporations'?

    0 Votes
  • Db
      Mar 20, 2010

    To JB7 - Where do these "statistics" come from. No seems to know. Why should credit have to do with your driving record. You mean to tell me that with this economy (the days of job loss, major unemployment and foreclosures going through the roof, that everyone is going to have a good credit score. What decade are you living in? And where are the consumer's rights to privacy? This is just another way for insurance companies to make big profits off already strapped consumers. Get real! Not everyone has perfect credit like you (oh by the way, my ex husband walked out and left me with 3 kids and a house in foreclosure - yes a little stressful - maybe you haven't had the experience of anything like that and I hope you never do so that you may maintain a perfect credit score and keep getting good insurance rates.

    0 Votes
  • Jb
      Mar 29, 2010

    CPhillips and DB, I am sorry for your misfortunes, but people in those situations tend to file more claims because they are desperate for money. I am not saying all people, but a lot of people are filing fraudulent claims. In the Tampa Bay area fraud claims were up 50% in 2009. It comes with the times. I do not need to provide any sources as this is only a blog, but a simple search will point you in the right direction. By the way I am a statistician and it is my job to know statistics like this.

    +1 Votes
  • Cp
      Jan 19, 2011

    JB7...I'm not arguing that at all! I'm sure you're great at what you do and don't doubt there are fraudulent claims. Here's the only trouble with your argument: if you don't have any accidents on your driving record you don't have any claims. I could understand if there were tickets or dui's or other claims, what have you. See, the insurance I have now is state minimum liability. So I would be hard pressed to file any fraudulent claims!

    0 Votes
  • Ro
      Mar 07, 2011

    The only thing you can do as a consumer, short of starting a grass roots campaign and succeeding to get state legislators to pass a law making use of credit for auto insurance rates illegal, is to shop for the auto insurance with the best price.
    When high-priced auto insurance companies experience losing a lot of business to lower-priced competitors, they will lower their rates. Most people pay their renewals, don't shop, and pay too much for their insurance coverage. Don't sit back and put up with high rates.
    I started a website to make it easier for people to research insurance companies, shop their car insurance, and make smarter decisions about their insurance. Check it out: http://www.smartshopyourcarinsurance.com.

    -1 Votes

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